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tv   Tom Donilon and Stephen Hadley Discuss Naitonal Security  CSPAN  August 5, 2016 1:10am-2:04am EDT

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operatives off the battlefield. and that eventually, we will win. start making bad decisions, indiscriminately killing civilians, for example, in some of these areas. instituting offensive religious tests on who can enter the country. those kinds of strategies can end up backfiring because in order for us to ultimately win this fight, we cannot frame this as a clash of civilizations between the west and islam. that plays exactly into the hands of isil and the perversions, the perverse interpretations of islam they are putting forward. as for mr. trump, we are going that by the law, which is
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, both in the tradition and the law, if somebody is the republican nominee for president, they need to get the security briefings so that if they were to win, they are not starting from scratch, in terms of being prepared for this office. and i'm not going to go into details on the nature of the security briefings that both candidates receive. what i will say is they have been told these are classified briefings. if they want to be president, they have to start acting like president. that means being able to receive these briefings and not spread them around. i think i have said enough on it.
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mr.rter: thank you, president. to criticsr response who say that the $400 million in iran was ao random payment? a payment that was held up for almost four decades was sent at the same time that americans were released. can you assure the american people that none of that money went to support terrorism? beendent obama: ok, it has interesting to watch this story surface. some of you may recall, we announced these payments in january, many months ago. it was not a secret. we announced them to all of you. josh did a briefing on them. this wasn't some nefarious deal. and at the time, we explained that iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal
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about them recovering money of theirs that we had frozen that, workingsequence of it its way through the international tribunal, it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were at a point with significant litigation risk and we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. it was their advice and suggestion that we settle. and that is what these payments represent. and it wasn't a secret. we were completely open with everybody about it and it is interesting to me how suddenly, this became a story again. that was point number one. point number two, we do not pay ransom for hostages. we have a number of americans being held all over the world. and i meet with their families and it is heartbreaking. we have stood up an entire
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section of inter-agency experts, who devote all of their time to working with these families to get these americans out. that wee families know have a policy that we don't pay ransom. and the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high profile way and announce it to the world, even as they are looking into the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage and say to them that we don't pay ransom, defies logic. so, that is point number two. we do not pay ransom. we did not here and we will not in the future precisely because, if we did, we would start encouraging americans to be targeted, much in the same way that some countries that do pay ransom end up having a lot more
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of their citizens being taken by various groups. point number three. this that the timing of was in fact, dictated by the fact that as a consequence of us negotiating around the nuclear deal, we actually had diplomatic negotiations in conversations with iran for the first time in several decades. so, the issue is not so much that it was a coincidence as it is that we were able to have a direct discussion. john kerry was able to meet with the foreign minister, which meant that we were able to clear accounts on a number of different issues that at the same time, converged. it was important for us to take advantage of that opportunity , both to deal with the litigation risk that had been raised, and it was important for us to make your that we had finished the job on the iran nuclear deal, and since we were
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in a conversation with them, it was important for us to push them hard on getting these americans out. and let me make a final point on this. it has now been well over a year since the agreement with iran to , a year nuclear program from when it was signed. by all accounts, it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work. you will recall that there were all these horror stories about how iran is going to cheat and this was not going to work and iran was going to get $150 billion to finance terrorism and all of these kinds of scenarios, and none of them have come to pass. and it is not just the assessment of our intelligence community. it is the assessment of the
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israeli military and intelligence community, the country that was most opposed to this deal that a colleges, this has been a game changer and that iran has abided by the deal and they no longer have sort of short-term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons. so, what i am interested in is if there is some news to be made, why not have some of these folks who were predicting disaster say, you know what, this thing actually works. that would be a shock. that would be impressive. if some of these folks who had said the sky is falling said, you know what, we were wrong and we are glad that iran no longer has the capacity to break out in short-term and develop a nuclear weapon. but of course, that wasn't going to happen. instead, what we have is the manufacturing of outrage and a
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story that we disclosed in january. and the only bit of news that is relevant on this is the fact that we paid cash, which brings me to my last point. the reason we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict in maintaining sanctions and we do not have a banking relationship with iran. so, we could not send them a check and we could not wire th e money. and it is not at all clear to me why it is that cash, as opposed to a check or a wire transfer, has made this into a news story. maybe because it kind of feels like some kind of spy novel, or because cashvel, was exchanged.
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the reason cash was exchanged is because we don't have a banking relationship with iran, which is precisely part of a pressure that we were able to apply to them so that they would ship a whole bunch of nuclear material out and close down a bunch of facilities that, as i remember, two years ago, three years ago, five years ago, was people's top priority, to make sure that iran does not have breakout nuclear capacity. and they don't. this worked. josh letterman. caller: thank you, mr. president. repeatedly now, donald trump has said the election will be rigged against him, challenging the core foundation of our democratic system. can you promise the american people that this election will be conducted in a fair way? and are you worried that comments like his could erode
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in theic's faith outcome of this election? given the you have declared him unfit, what would you say to the american people? pres. obama: at the end of the day, it is the american people's decision. i have one vote. i have the same vote you do. i have the same vote that all of the voters who are eligible across the country have. i have offered my opinion, but ultimately, it is in the american people's right to make the decision collectively. if someone wins the election and they are president, my constitutional responsibility is to peacefully transfer power to that individual and do everything i can to help them succeed. don't even know where to start on answering this question of course the elections will not be rigged. what does that mean?
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the federal government doesn't run the election process. states and cities and communities all across the country, they are the ones who set up the vo tinting systems ad voting booths. trump is adjusting there is a conspiracy theory that is being propagated across the country, including in places where typically, it is not democrats who are in charge of voting booths, that is ridiculous. that does not make any sense. i don't think anybody would take that seriously. now, we do take seriously, as we always do, our responsibility to monitor and preserve the integrity of the voting process. if we see signs that a voting
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machine or system is owner of all to hacking, then, we inform those local authorities who are running the elections and tell them they need to be careful. if we see jurisdictions that are violating federal laws, in terms of equal access and aren't providing ramps for disabled voters, or are discriminating in some fashion, or are otherwise violating civil rights laws, then the justice department will come in and take care of that. but this will be an election like every other election. us, at someall of points in our lives, have played sports, or just played in a schoolyard or a sandbox. sometimes, if folks lose, they start complaining they have
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gotten cheated. but i have never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated before the game was over or before the score is even tallied. so, my suggestion would be, you know, go out there and try to win the election. if mr. trump is up 10 or 15 points on election day and ends up losing, mabye he can raise some questions. that does not seem to be the case at the moment. barbara starr. reporter: thank you, mr. president. on the question of isis expansion you have been talking about, because you see them expanding around the world, because you see them trying to inspire attacks, what is your current level of concern about the homeland? you talked about the protection measures, but what is your assessment about the possibility, your own intelligence advisers suggested
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it is possible, about the direct isis threat to americans? and, if i may follow up along these same lines, what is your assessment today as you stand here about whether donald trump can be trusted with america's nuclear weapons? rresident obama: um, on you second question, and i will sort of address this to any additional trump questions, i would ask all of you to just make your own judgment. i have made this point already, multiple times. just listen to what mr. trump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad. reporter: there are suggestions that you are not confident. president obama: as a recall, i
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answer this question a couple of days ago and i think i made myself clear. i do not want to keep repeating or a variation on it. i obviously have a very strong opinion about the two candidates who are running. one is very positive, and one is not so much. just think that you will hear, any further questions directed at this subject, i think you will hear pretty much variations on the same thing. what i can say is that this is serious business. the person who is in the oval office and who our secretary of defense and our joint chiefs of staff and our outstanding men and women in uniform report to, they are counting on somebody who has good temperament and
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good judgment to be able to make decisions to keep america safe. be very much on the minds of voters when they go into the voting booth in november. in terms of the threat that isil poses to the homeland, i think it is serious. we take it seriously. and, as i said earlier, precisely because they are less concerned about big, spectacular 9/11-style attacks, because they have seen the degree of attention they can get with smaller scale attacks using small arms, or assault rifles, or in the case of nice, france, a truck. you know, the possibility of either a lone actor or a small cell carrying out an attack that
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kills people is real. and that is why our intelligence and law enforcement and military officials are working around the clock to try to anticipate thential attacks, to obtain threats of people who might be full marble to brainwashing by isil. we are constrained here in the united states to carry out this work in a way that is consistent with our laws and presumptions of innocence and the fact that we prevent a lot of these attacks as effectively as we do without a lot of fanfare and abiding by our laws is a
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testament to the incredible work that these folks are doing. they work really hard at it, but it is always a risk. and some of the may have read the article in "the new york times" today, i guess it came out last might online, about this individual in germany who had confessed and given himself up and explained his knowledge networks worked. there was a paragraph in there that some may have caught, which we don't know for a fact that this is true, but according to this reporting, the individu indicated that isil recognizes it is harder to get its operatives into the united that webut the fact have what he referred to as laws" meant that
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anybody, as long as they did not have a criminal record that could bar them from purchase, could go in and buy weapons. that made sort of, homegrown extremist strategies more attracted to them. those are the hardest stop. by definition if somebody does not have a record and it does not trigger something, it means that anticipating their actions becomes that much more difficult. militaryis why the strategy we have in syria and iraq is necessary, but not sufficient. we have to a better job of disrupting networks, and those networks are more active in europe than they are here. we don't know what we don't know.
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we have to get to the messages that can reach a troubled individual and do a better job disrupting that. what i've told my team is that although we've been working on this now for five, six, seven year, we've got to put more resources into it. this can't be an after thought. it's something we have to really focus on. is is also why how we work with the muslim american community, the values we affirm about their patriotism and their fellow feelingur with them is so important. one of the reasons we don't have networks and cells that are as active here as they are in certain parts of europe is cause the mussalism -- the muslim american community in
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this country is extraordinaryly patriotic and largely successful and fights in our military and serves as our doctors and nurses and you know, there are communities in which they are raising their kids with love of country and rejection of violence and that has to be affirmed consistently. and if we -- if we screw that up we're going to have bigger problems. president obama: gregory of "usa today." >> yesterday you commute the sentences of 140 individuals. i want to ask you about the clemency. you talk about this as low level drug offenders who got mandatory minimum sentences but around a quarter of the commutations you
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made also had firearms offenses. given your overall philosophy on firearms can you reconcile that for us an fwitch that previously in your presidency you sent a memo to the office of pardons .hat there was a predisposition you've granted more commutations than any president since calvin oolidge and fewer pardons than any in years. are the commutations taking energy away from pardons? giving pardons would give poem a better chance at a second chance. should we expect you to save your more politically sensitive pardons? president obama: this is an ffort i'm really proud of.
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it is my view, shared by democrats and republicans alike, at -- in many quarters, that as successful as we've been in reducing crime in this country, the extraordinary rate of incarceration of nonviolent offenders has created its own set of problems that are devastating. entire communities have been ravaged where largely men, but some women, are taken out of those communities, kids are now growing up without parents. it perpetuates a cycle of poverty and disorder in their lives. it is disproportionately young men of color that are being
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arrested at higher rates, charged and convicted at higher rates, and imprisoned for longer sentences. nd so ultimately, the fix on this is criminal justice reform and i still hold out hope that the bipartisan effort that's taken place in congress can finish the job and we can have a criminal justice system at least at the federal level that is both smart on crime, effective on crime, but recognizes the need for proportionality of sentencing and the need to rehabilitate those who commit crimes. but even as that slow process of criminal justice reform goes forward, what i wanted to see is if we could reinvigorate the pardon process, the commutation
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process that had become stalled over the considers of several years. partly because it's politically risky. you commute somebody and they commit a crime and you know, the politics of it are tough. the -- the embers bias of my predecessors and frankly a number of my advisors early in my presidency is, be careful about that. but i thought it was very important for us to send a clear message that we believe in the principles behind criminal justice reform even if ultimately we need legislation. so we have focused more on commutations than we have on pardons. i would argue, gregory, that by the time i leave office, the number of pardons that we grant will be roughly in line with what other presidents have done.
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but standing up this commutations process has required a lot of effort, a lot of energy and it's not like we got a new slug of money to do it. you've got limited resources, the primary job of the justice department is to prevent crime. and to convict those who have committed crimes and keep the american people safe. and that means that you've had to -- you've had extraordinary and herculean effort by a lot of people in the justice department to go above and beyond what they're doing to also review these petitions that have been taking place. bar been able to get organizations around the couldn't troy participate, to screen an help people apply. d what we've tissue the main criteria i tried to set is if under today's laws, because
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there have been changes in how we charge nonviolent drug offenses if under today's charges, their sentences would be substantially lower than the charges they received, if they got a life sentence but a u.s. attorney or justice department indicates that today they'd be likely to get 20 years and they've served 25, then what we try to do is to screen through and find those individuals who their debt to society, that have behaved themselves and tried to reform themselves while incarcerated and we think have a good chance of being able to use that second chance well. on the firearms issue what aye done is try to screen out folk who seem to have a propensity
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for violence. and so, and these are hypotheticals but there may be a situation where a kid at 18 was a member of a gang, had a firearm, did not use it in the offense that he was charged in, there's no evidence that he used it in any violent offense, it's still a firearms charge and enhancement, but he tnt use it. he's now 48 or 38, 20 years later and has an unpolicewomen herbed prison record. has gone back to school. gotten his g.e.d. has gone through drug treatment. has the support of the original judge that presided, the support of the u.s. attorney that charged him, support of the warden, has a family that loves him and in that situation, the fact that he had 20 years earlier an enhancement because
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he had a firearm is different than a situation where somebody is engaged in armed robbery and shot somebody. in those cases that is still smag that -- is still something that i'm concerned about. our focus really has been on ople who we think were overcharged and people who we do not believe have a propensity toward violence. and in terms of your last question, about sort of last minute pardons that are granted, the process that i put in place is not going to vary depending on how close i get to the election. o it's going to be reviewed by the pardon attorney. it'll be reviewed by my white
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house counsel. and you know, i'm going to as best as i can make these decisions based on the merits as opposed to political considerations. ok. jim mick la she , this may be ring my last conference here, i wanted to thank jim for the extraordinary career he's had and the job he's done, he gets the last question. >> thank you, mr. president. irst, back to isis and iraq. and syria. your very own counterterrorism operation has found that despite the decisive defeats the u.s. coalition have dealt isis on the battlefield, they have expanded
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their threat worldwide to include as many as 18 operational bases. in the six years you've been dealing, do you feel any personal disappointment that there hasn't been more progress and in any discussion you've had with the u.s. military and your intelligence agencies havey come up with any new ideas on how to deal or defeat isis? president obama: every time there's a terrorist attack, i feel disappointment because i'd like to prevent all of them. and that's true not just then the attacks are in europe or in the united states, when you read stories about attacks in lebanon r iraq or afghanistan or distant parts of the world that don't get as much attention, they get my attention.
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because that's somebody's kid and that's somebody's mom and that's somebody who was just going about his business. senselessly, this person was murdered. o i haven't gotten numb to it. it bugs me whenever it happens and wherever it happens. and we are constantly push ourselves to see, are there additional ideas that we can deploy to defeat this threat? we it is important that recognize terrorism as a tactic has been around for a long time. and if you look at the 1970's or 1980's or 1990's, there was some terrorist activity somewhere in the world that was brutal. i wouldknow, as much as
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like to say that during my eight-year presidency, we could have eliminated terrorism surprising it's not that that hasn't happened and i don't expect that will happen under the watch of my successors. i do think that because of our extraordinary efforts, the homeland is significantly safer than it otherwise would be. in some ways, this is arguing the counterfactuals but the attacks we prevent i take great satisfaction in and i am grateful for the extraordinary work that our teams do. i don't think there's any doubt that had we not destroyed al qaeda in the fata that more
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americans would have been killed. and we might have seen more attacks like we saw on 9/11. and we have maintained vigilance, recognizing that those threats still remain, those aspirations in the minds of these folks still remain but it is much harder for them to carry out large scale attacks like that than it used to be. hat we have seen is that these lower level attacks carried out by fewer operatives for an individual with less sophisticated and less expensive weapons can do real damage. and that, i think, points to the need for us to not just have a military strategy, not just have a traditional counterterrorism strategy that's designed to bust up networks and catch folks
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before they carry out their attacks, although those still are necessary and we have to be more and more sophisticated about how we carry those out. it still requires us to have much greater cooperation with our partners around the world, but it points to the fact that we're going to have to do a the job in draining ideology that is behind these attacks. that right now is emanating largely out of the middle east small fraction of the muslim world, a perversion of islam that has taken root and has been turbocharged over the internet and that is appealing to even folks who don't necessarily know anything about islam and aren't even practicing
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islam in any serious way but have all kinds of psychosis an latch onto this as some way of being important, and magnifying themselves. that's tougher. because that involves both changes in geopolitics in places like syria, it requires cultural changes in regions like the middle east and north africa that are going through generational changes and shifts as the old order collapses. it requires psychology and inking about how -- how do these messages of hate reach individuals and are there ways in which we can intervene ahead of time. and all that work is being done and we've got the very best people at it.
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and each day they're making a difference in saving lives. not just here but around the world. but it's a challenge. precisely because if you're successful 99% of the time that 1% can still mean heart break or families. it's difficult because in a country of say 300 million people here in the united states if 99.9% of people are immune rom this hateful ideology, but .1% are susceptible to it, that's a lot of dangerous people running around. and we can't always anticipate them ahead of time because they ma not have criminal records. so this is going to be a challenge. i want to end on the point that i made earlier. how we react to this is as
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important as the efforts we take to destroy isil, prevent these networks from penetrating, you can't separate those two things out. the reason it's called terrorism as opposed to just a standard war is that these are weak enemies that can't match us in conventional power, but what they can do is mick us scared. and when societies get scared, hey can react in ways that undermine the fabric of our society. it makes us weaker. and makes us more vulnerable and creates politics that divide us and -- in ways that hurt us over the long term.
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and so if we remain steady and steadfast and vigilant, but also take the long view and maintain perspective and remind ourselves of who we are and what we care about most deeply and what we cherish and what's good about this country and what's good international order and civilation that was built in part because of the sacrifices of our men and women after 20th century full of world war, if we remember that, then we're going to be ok. but we're still going to see at the -- we're still going to see episodically these kinds of tragedies and we're going to have to keep working on it until we make things better. >> mr. president -- president
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obama: only because you're going to retire. but i hope it's not too long because i'm going to be late to my birthday dener. u.s. and ded to the russia and some operation in syria, presumably in exchange for whatever russian influence could be imposed on the assad regime for a variety of reasons. i'm sure you're not surprised that some in the military are not supportive of that deal. some european allies think think it would be a deal with the devil. what makes you so confident that you can trust the russians and vladimir putin? president obama: i'm not confident that we can trust the russians and vladimir putin. that's why we have to test whether or not we can get an actual cessation of hostilities that includes an end to the kinds of aerial bombing and civilian death and destruction that we've seen carried out by the assad regime.
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and russia may not be able to get it because they don't want to or don't have sufficient influence over assad. that's what we're going to december. so we go into this without any blinders on. we're very clear that russia has been willing to support a murderous regime that has, and an individual in assad who has destroyed his country to cling on to power. what started with peaceful protests has led to a shattering of an entire, pretty advanced, society. and so whenever you're trying to broker any kind of deal with dividuals like that or a country like that, you've got to go in there with some
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skepticism. on the other hand, if we are able to get a genuine cessation prevents ies that indiscriminate bombing, that protects civilians, that allows humanitarian access, and creates some sort of pathway to begin the hard work of political negotiations inside of syria, then we have to try. because the alternative is a perpetuation of civil war. i've been wrestling with this thing now for a lot of years. i'm pretty confident that a big chunk of my gray hair comes out of my syria meetings. and there's not a meeting that i don't end by saying, is there
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something else we could be doing that we haven't thought of? s there a f.g.h. that we think would lead to a resolution of this issue so that the syrian people can put their lives back together again and we can bring peace and relieve the refugee crisis that's taking place? and the options are limited when you have a civil war like this. when you have a ruler who doesn't care about his people, terrorist got organizations that are brutal own kind impose their people, and p on you have a moderate opposition and ordinary civilians who are
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often outgunned and outmanned. and that's a very difficult situation to deal with. but we've got to give it a chance. there are going to be some bottom lines that we expect for us to cooperate with russia beyond the sort of decon flix we're currently doing and that means restraint on the part of the regime that so far has not been forthcoming. early on in this version of the cessation of hostilities we probably saw some lives saved and some lessening of violence. the violation of the cessation have grown to the point where it just barely exists, particularly up in the northwestern part of the country. so we're going to test and see if we can get something that sticks. and if not, then russia will
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have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor on the world stage supporting a murderous regime and will have to be -- will have to answer to that on the international stage. all right? thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> on saturday, c-span's issues spotlight looks at police and race relations. we'll show president obama at the memorial service for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. >> when the bullets started
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flying, the men and women of the dallas police did not flinch, and they did not react recklessly. >> and south carolina republican senator tim scott giving a speech on the senate floor about his own interactions with police. >> the vast majority of the time, i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial. >> the program also includes one family's story about an encounter with police in washington, d.c., followed by a panel with the city's police chief, kathy lanier. >> most people get defense if they feel you're being offensive. so being very respectful, you know, in encounters and request, if it's not a crisis, not a dangerous situation, request versus tchands. these things change the dynamics a little bit. >> watch our issues spotlight on police and race relations
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saturday at 8:00 eastern on c-span and c-span.org. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, we'll discuss the current state of zika in the united states with health and science correspondent steenhuysen julie and whether they're concerned for athletes and visitors as the olympics begin in rio. so, jonathan rauch who talks about his work, how american politics went insane. he'll talk about the division between the white house and congress. be sure to watch friday morning at 7:00 eastern. >> now we hear from dr. americaner zahn of the cent for on set exs and
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gynecology on the zika rye vuss. this is just over an hour. >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to t >> goodhe afternoon, everyone, welcome i want to thank each and every one of you for joining us for a timely discussion about the zika virus. and women's health. in recent months we have seen zika transmission escalate in parts of the developing world and here in the united states. according to the centers for disease control and prevention, the mosquito-borne virus has infected over 6000 people in the united states and territories including more than 800 pregnant
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women. the pentagon has reported that at least 33 american servicemembers have contracted seek a overseas. -- zika overseas. just last week, the florida health authorities reported the first likely cases of mosquito transmission in the continental united states. as the cdc director recently declared, zika is now here. these cases are just the beginning and congress can no longer ignore this urgent and dangerous public health crisis. the center for american progress estimates that more than 2 million pregnant women in the united states are potentially at risk of zika virus the summer and fall. for pigment women, the zika virus can cause and lead to a serious condition of birth known as microcephaly which can have severe lifelong effects on children's physical and mental development.
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it can cost anywhere from 1,000,000-10,000,000 dollars over a lifespan to care for a child with microcephaly and there is no vaccine for the condition. nor is there one for the zika virus. that is what makes prevention of zika in the first place so critical. unexpected health issues like zika can present tremendous challenges for already disadvantaged communities and sink families deeper into poverty. this is a vicious cycle as many of these committees living conditions that can compound zika transmission including lack of access to shelter or air-conditioning, living or working near standing water, and inadequate health insurance coverage. these families cannot afford to wait any longer for congress to take action on zika. the good the good news is we can prevent
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zika transmission. in zika response efforts, we can help ensure access to contraception, family planning, and maternal health care for women at risk. for families of children born with microcephaly, we can ensure access to quality pediatric care and social support services. and we can support research and development for a vaccine an adequate testing. in order to do all of this, we need congress to abandon political wrangling and allocate adequate emergency funding to combat zika. without harmful restrictions on women's health care. since president obama's request in february of $1.9 billion in emergency zika funding, congress has played political football with the lives of those at risk for zika transmission. in fact, the situation has become so dire that the administration has had to shift money from the fight against
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ebola because congress won't approve new funding. once more, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, house appropriations chairman hal rogers, representative tom full and other republican leaders have put partisan politics before the needs of the people they were elected to serve. here we are in august, the day before the olympics in brazil, place where zika is responsible for over 4600 microcephaly cases alone and we still have no resolution, no dedicated emergency funding. congress has gone on vacation. even after they return, senator mcconnell and republican leaders have promised to make sure capitol hill is as an action packed as ever. we can't let that happen. the time for denial and delay has long passed and every day without this funding puts more
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women and families at risk. make no mistake, we have the tools to quite zika. what we lack is a congress with the political courage to do right by the american people. today you will hear from a distinguished panel of public health experts and advocates who are fighting to ensure that women and families have access to the services they need in the face of zika. their discussion will examine our efforts to combat this crisis and why women's health care must be an integral part of any effective zika response. first we will hear from someone who has been at the front lines of the crisis, dr. jewell mullen as the principal deputy secretary for health at the department of health and human services, dr. mullen has helped coordinate the administration's response to zika at home and around the globe. we are thrilled to hear her and site this afternoon.

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